Lifestyle & Belief

Maasai cricket warriors argue over uniforms (PHOTOS)


Players in the Maasai Warriors cricket team take part in a practice session at the beach in Mombassa on March 6, 2012. The team is made up of Maasai warriors from the Laikipia region of Kenya. The players are aiming to be role models in their communities where they are actively campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation, early childhood marriages and are fighting for the rights of women.



Kenya's cricket-playing Maasai warriors want to wear their traditional garb while playing at an upcoming tournament, while their coach wants them to wear cricket whites, said the BBC.

Steve Tikolo, the cricketers' trainer, said he would like the novice players to wear cricket's traditional whites, however, the players want to wear sandals, beads, bracelets and their traditional "shuka" wrap.

The Maasai Warriors, as the team is called, is preparing to participate in the Last Man Stands Championship being held in South Africa. The format of the match will be Twenty20, which means 20 overs, or 120 balls, for each team.

Aliya Bauer, who established the Maasai Warriors five years ago, told the BBC, "It's not just a bunch of boys going to play cricket, they will also be promoting Kenya's image by playing in their traditional attire, adding some African flavor to the tournament."

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The Maasai Warriors are from the highlands of Laikipia, and traveled to Mombasa recently to take part in a match. They have been campaigning against female genital mutilation and early childhood marriages, seeking to promote women's rights. The warriors also want to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS among their community and promote healthier lifestyles, said The International Business Times.

Maasai warrior Francis Meshame said, "It is an easy game because when you bowl it is just like throwing the spear," according to the AFP. "The pads we use are just like the shields we use when we are fighting, and the bat itself is just like the 'rungu,' the clubs that we use," he added.

Twelve of the players have been on a two-month training course at the Nursery of Cricket Legends in Mombasa since late January, said the AFP. Another of the players, Ole Sonyanga Weblen Ngais, said, "Sooner or later, one or even several Maasai will play on the Kenyan national team because we have the best bowlers (and) we have good batsmen."

However, their trainer told the BBC, "Cricket has its own rules that have to be followed. I appreciate they want to sell the image of Kenya but they must play in the normal cricket uniform, and not their traditional attire."

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